Re: poly: Egan's Diaspora

From: Anders Sandberg <>
Date: Thu Mar 19 1998 - 12:23:06 PST

Overall, this seems to relate to Nicholas Boström's Convergence
Hypothesises. The strong convergence hypothesis claims that all
sufficiently advanced cultures converge towards the same state; the
divergent track hypothesis claims that cultures tend to converge
towards a few attractor states (for example borganisms), while the
attractor states diverge from each other. I have added my own
divergence hypothesis: there is not even discrete attractors, cultures
diverge in a continuum of sorts.

In Diaspora it seems that the strong convergence hypothesis is true
(all intelligent life becomes something akin to citizens in polises),
although there might be divergent tracks (hard to tell). I'm working
on a small essay about these hypothesises, and my idea is that we
should expect convergence in all areas where the physical world places
the same constraints and divergence in unconstrained areas. This
discussion suggests that the ability to plan ahead *might* force some
choices, but it does not appear to be strong enough to support the
strong convergence hypothesis. My bet is actually on the divergence
hypothesis or possibly the divergent track hypothesis, based on
analogy with the evolution of terrestrial species (there is noticeable
convergent evolution, but over time the diversity seems to have
increased or remained constant) and evolution of languages (there
seems to be some similar tendencies like the shortening of common
words, but overall the diversity as long as people remain separated

Maybe the only thing that can force strong convergence is very fast
and through communications. What if there exists a galactic internet,
and as soon as a civilisation manages to access it it will quickly
become swamped with the overall galactic culture (the universal

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y
Received on Thu Mar 19 20:23:42 1998

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